Workplace Culture – The Good, The Bad and the implications of both.
How does any business in our industry keep so many of its original employees?
How do you sustain an enviably low staff turnover rate when competitors have a revolving door of new recruits?
Why am I pumped to get into the office, or on the road, everyday? (…and its not to get away from my 4 kids)
The answer to all 3 – Exceptional Company Culture.
If you have read my bio or my last post, you would understand that I don’t identify closely with the old school project marketing/sales world. From my experience, it has potentially the least nurturing workplace culture of any industry which I’ve been a part. The “dog eat dog” environment geared around the highest number of sales in the shortest possible timeframes, pitted against a herd of hungry young salespeople can only lead to a combative workplace and a dismal culture.
The leadership, instruction and unrealistic expectations placed on myself and my colleagues in this environment led to actions that were unproductive at best, but probably more seriously, damaging for both my personal brand and the company’s bottom line.
I loved what I did but disliked the culture.
Why it’s important:
In today’s workplace, just 36.7% of employees are engaged (happy), according to Gallup. This is a pretty harrowing tale, but it is not uncommon in the industry in which I work, or in many others I’m sure. In fact, while this may not stem from the same factors as above it certainly speaks to the dire need of every business to start taking culture in the workplace seriously.
According to Josh Bersin of Deloitte; staff turnover costs are estimated to range from tens of thousands of dollars to 2x an employee’s annual salary. Not to mention the loss of business that stems from disengaged employees during this period. You just can’t afford to lose employees.
The importance of a clear message to your partners and clients at this time cannot be underestimated. The more your partners understand and identify with your brand, the more they’ll want to be a part of what you’ve created. Connection with brand is key and its culture will forge this bond. To have a defined culture, is to have defined values and goals. If both employees and clients are on board, then retention of both will go through the roof.
As Patrick Lencioni writes in his book – The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business – “Hiring without clear and strict criteria for culture fit greatly hampers the potential for success at any organization.”
I can write this now because I’ve found my work tribe.
I’ve found a workplace where we are brave enough to tread our own path, vulnerable enough to admit we do not know everything and engaged enough that every employee is committed to a constant process of learning and achieving. Understanding who we are in the marketplace, and how we can strive to be better than the competition, has allowed us to carve out a very strong foothold in our space.
I’ll finish with a twitter quote from the great Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”
Ryan Chapman is a BDM at ARG. We are a property partner to many finance and investment strategists throughout the country.